Fishing and boating accidents aren’t often thought of, but they happen. You could accidentally hit something with your boat or fall off-board from a feisty fish. Massachusetts has rules about reporting boating accidents that you must also know.
Slips and falls
Even if you’re fishing from a rock or the shore, you could experience a slip and fall injury. You should wear non-slip shoes to reduce the chances of slipping. On a boat, you can line it with anti-slip rubber mats for another layer of protection. If you fall and sustain an injury while fishing, it’s best to stop for the day and let yourself rest. Continuing to fish could result in a more serious injury.
Some people forgo wearing a life jacket when they know how to swim. However, it’s possible for you to hit your head and lose consciousness during your fall into the water. A strong fish putting up a good fight could yank you off of the boat or hit you, causing you to fall off board. You should always wear a life jacket to reduce your chances of drowning. Also, keep a whistle or flare on you in case you’re not able to get back to your boat.
When you’re unfamiliar with a boat’s layout, or you’re not paying attention, you might accidentally place your hand on the propeller. To help reduce injuries, you should place a warning sticker near the propeller. While on someone else’s boat, make a conscious note of where the propeller is. You could also suggest that they apply a warning sticker.
Massachusetts requires that you report certain boating accidents to Massachusetts Environmental Police, Boating and Recreational Vehicle Safety Bureau. If you damaged property that exceeds $500 in damages, then you need to inform the bureau. Other incidents that you need to report include injuries that required medical attention, the disappearance of a person and death. You only have up to 48 hours to report boating accidents that result in serious injury or death. Otherwise, you have up to five days to make the report.
A fishing accident could happen even to an experienced angler. By always following recommended safety tips, you can spend more time enjoying your fishing trip instead of nursing an injury.